After spending years designing kitchens and handcrafting cabinets, John Barlowe opened Frame Shop Art Gallery & Gifts to celebrate and showcase great household art. A member of the Professional Picture Framers Association, he's won awards for his custom-frame designs, which pair his meticulous woodworking skills with elements such as football skin to accent displayed pieces. As a premier partner of Larson-Juhl, he has access to thousands of ornate American hardwood borders and gilded moldings crafted with more than 100 years of company expertise. Each artwork or photograph squeezes between Tru Vue glass and Bainbridge mats and backboard, a sandwich framers can often complete in as little as 24 hours.
In addition to displaying art, John and his team specialize in various photo services, from printing images to transforming ordinary snapshots into caricatures or watercolors with artistic photo treatments. They also prevent boxes of family photos from falling victim to age, disasters, and swamp monsters’ thumbprints by digitizing large collections.
One hundred fifty years in the making, the permanent collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art now totals more than 19,000 pieces. Displayed throughout the museum's galleries, those collected masterpieces include canvases by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, as well as a 1638 self-portrait by Rembrandt. Far from a narrow representation of the art world, the museum asks questions about the global nature of art by juxtaposing the aforementioned artists alongside African work, Indian bronzes, and Chinese ceramics.
After exploring the museum's permanent and special exhibitions, visitors can decompress at the DialogTable. Not only does the interactive table show guests films about the art they've seen, but it can also answer the age-old question "what is being a table like?" To supplement its exhibits, the museum hosts numerous programs and events every year, ranging from student programming and a reading series to artist talks and art-making workshops. The artistic attractions even spill through the museum doors with seven sculptures surrounding the building.
Phoenix Theatres transports its audiences to exotic lands, forbidden romances, and CGI-animal kingdoms of the 100% digital silver screen. With some films shown in RealD XL 3-D, crowds can immerse themselves even further into the suspended belief of film. Phoenix Theatres' Ensemble offers a rotating selection specialty programs such as plays, operas, and ballets. Concessions provide free refills on sodas and large popcorns, fueling imaginations for sprints toward stories' thrilling or heartwarming resolutions.
Vehicles leisurely roll across African Safari Wildlife Park's landscape, yielding to a host of friendly creatures. Camels, giraffes, zebras, forest-dwelling bongos, Asian sika deer, and Scottish highland cows await you. Guests can hold cups filled with feed, which exotic muzzles devour, and a walking area provides an up-close look at enclosed species such as the rare white alligator. Warm-weather months bring out additional activities, including animal rides, pig races, and educational animal shows where guests can interact with small mammals. Food and beverages from African Safari's ice-cream shop, snack bar, and grill help sate midday hungers caused by watching a guanaco sneeze.
To become a finished Motawi Tileworks tile, slabs of raw clay must run the gauntlet of an elaborate production line, where they'll be crushed under a 60-ton press, dipped or drizzled in colorful glaze, and fired in a kiln at 2,000 degrees. Though the handmade process lends itself to variations in colors, it creates uniformly durable tiles built to withstand the heat of a fireplace, the splashing of a kitchen sink, or the futility of existence atop a shelf.
The company's artisans have handmade their tiles in Ann Arbor for two decades. They draw on this experience while creating three types of tiles: flat field, polychrome, and molded. Each catches eyes on its own, or transforms into an artful mosaic when mixed and matched. During the design process, the craftsmen draw inspiration from a huge range of American influences, from Native American artists to Frank Lloyd Wright.
Named America's favorite art museum by Modern Art Notes in 2010, Toledo Museum of Art features rotating exhibitions, including The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, a collection of more than 100 of the artist's paintings, sculptures, and drawings. A contemporary multimedia artist, Botero draws inspiration from baroque painters and his Colombian heritage, and many of his pieces critique life in Latin America, exploring comedy and violence through vibrant colors and beautiful, oversized figures. Curated by The Hague's Dr. John Sillevis, this is the first U.S. Botero retrospective since 1978 and the final stop of its road trip.
After 20 years of successfully frightening fear fans, The Haunted Hydro is back for another season of shudders with more than 50 actors, multiple attractions, and an “Evil Inferno” theme. With a Monster Bash ticket, guests begin their journey by entering the 20-foot Tunnel of Terror leading to Hydro’s cursed chambers. Inside, realistically made-up monsters and mutants make screams scream in horror and force flesh to sprout goose feathers. Visitors can also venture into the brand-new Lair of Scare, a dark cavern of undeath where each turn is as futile as the one before it. A free paintball ticket gives brave citizens the chance to hunt the zombies that lurk in Paintball Alley, and a free soft drink soothes sore throats resulting from too much shrieking, screeching, and light- bulb eating.